You help us to plant trees every time you shop with us. So far, we've planted 135,000 trees on agriculturally poor land in Cumbria.
At the core of Chimney Sheep is our Community Interest Company, Buy Land Plant Trees (BLPT). For every purchase you make with us, 20% of the profit goes towards our Community Interest Company (CIC) which facilitates the planting of trees on agriculturally poor land in Cumbria. We set up BLPT in 2019 as a ‘boots on the ground’ tree planting initiative that is run and operated by us.
We specifically buy land that is agriculturally poor – it either can’t sustain much livestock grazing or is rubbish for arable use. As it’s a CIC, BLPT is “asset locked”. All the fields we buy and woodlands we create remain in ownership of the CIC for as far into the future as we can glimpse. The idea is to have trees that become big and old and gnarly and over time provide homes for all kinds of wildlife.
BLPT was set up to help you and us to reduce our impact on the planet. Before urbanisation, a lot of our landscape would have been covered in trees, so our mission is to try and put some of those trees back for the benefit of the environment. BLPT isn’t a tick box exercise nor a distant and detached carbon offset company. In fact, this is as much part of our business as the products we sell and is an integral part of our ethos. We are big believers in the phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ and want to make a genuine difference.
Thanks to Chimney Sheep’s lovely customers and staff, we can continuously create more woodlands and wildlife habitat. Take a look below to find out more about each piece of land and what we're planting.
The field was already pretty overgrown so we let it carry on as it was. Brambles are nature’s barbed wire so it helps to protect trees from deer damage without the need for plastic tree guards.
Over the following 12 months, we planted a few thousand more trees in Sally’s. Trees were beginning to grow naturally but we wanted to speed things up a bit! Our plan was to have a good mix of species so that the site could be more disease resilient and protected should conditions change with the climate in the future.
We planted species in that wouldn’t get there on their own, such as wych elm, lime, hornbeam, field maple, sweet chestnut, walnut, black poplar, aspen, white poplar, Scots pine and rowan.
We also planted more of the species that were already present such as alder, various types of willow, ash, hazel, holly, and blackthorn.
Although close to Sally’s Wood, our 13-acre field has a very different terrain. It is boggy and wet which meant the species and way we planted had to be quite different. In 2020, we started making plans to plant out the field, ensuring we left space for other habitat spaces and ponds to support a wider range of fauna and flora.
We used the Miyawaki Method of planting. This helps to create forest area quickly by planting mixed species trees in dense clusters, replicating the regeneration process that occurs in natural forests.
In 2021, we planted 25,000 trees in the field including species such as alder, willow, birch, black poplar, white poplar and aspen. Each tree had one of our mulch mats slotted around its base which has definitely helped because the trees are coming on brilliantly!
This is an upland site with many habitat types, including blanket bog and heathland. We’ve planted trees in clusters, using the bracken and acid grassland as a guide for planting. So far, we've planted rowan, downy birch, silver birch, aspen, crab-apple, hawthorn, blackthorn, various willows, bird cherry, wild cherry, juniper, Scots pine, hazel and oak. We've also reintroduced the rare montane dwarf birch. The areas of heather, bilberry, mire and blanket bog are being left to recover from intensive grazing.
The mire had drainage cuts in it which depleted the peatland. We’ve blocked the cuts with hessian sacks filled with sheep wool and installed leaky dams to help restore it.
This site has scree and montane habitats as well as a steep-sided area dominated by bracken. Woodland flowers still bloom every year - there are bluebells, wood sorrel and wood anemones waiting for trees to come back! Adjoining landowners are also rewilding, making 225 acres in total which is a significant parcel of land.
We are planting another 200,000 trees on this side of the fell. The bracken is dense, so we are planting in clusters so the saplings can support each other. The soil is excellent on this side so the trees will grow taller than the bracken in no time, then proceed to suppress it and revert back to woodland. If conditions are right we will encourage temperate rainforest to regenerate.
We’ve also planted 2000 flowering plug plants of devil’s bit scabious to encourage the rare marsh fritillary butterfly back into the area.
Sally Phillips17 Nov 2023
Sally Phillips13 Apr 2023
Sally Phillips12 Jul 2022
Sally Phillips24 Jan 2022
Sally Phillips11 Aug 2021
Sally Phillips13 May 2021
Sally Phillips21 Dec 2020
Sally Phillips14 Oct 2020
Sally Phillips27 Jun 2019
The 20 trees bought with this voucher will be planted in one of our two fields which are both local to us, in the Lake District National Park. We have a 100-acre plot, 13-acre field and a seven-acre field all of which we are in the process of planting. We are always on the hunt for local bits of land which are agriculturally useless to buy up and plant trees on so there will be plenty more fields to come in the future where the 20 trees bought with this voucher could be planted!
Buy Land Plant Trees (BLPT) is our Community Interest Company that we set up to, well, buy land and plant trees. About 20% of the profit from every purchase made with Chimney Sheep Ltd (apart from this voucher where 100% of the profit will be given to BLPT) goes towards the project.
We buy land that is agriculturally poor, that can’t sustain much livestock grazing and is rubbish for arable use. There is a lot of that sort of land around Cumbria. Wet, boggy, dominated by rushes. Once upon a time most of the landscape would have been covered in trees. This has been removed over the centuries, for farming, shipbuilding, mining, iron and steel working. The landscape that we look at as having a bleak beauty, is a consequence of intensive agricultural and industrial use. We plant trees to create a more diverse habitat and for carbon capture. As it is a Community Interest Company it’s “asset locked”. This means that any donations made to the company stay within it, in perpetuity. All the fields we buy and woodlands we create remain in ownership of the company for as far into the future as we can glimpse. The idea is not to extract timber, but to have trees that become big and old and gnarly and over time provide homes for all kinds of wildlife.
As we mentioned above, we currently have two fields and are always looking to add more so watch this space! You can read more about BLPT here and find out about our latest update here.
There are lots of reasons! It captures carbon, creates wildlife habitat, reduces erosion and reduces flooding (to name a few!). Planting trees is just an all-round good way of helping the environment. Although we are just doing it on a small scale, the phrase “think globally, act locally” applies here! We can’t do much about everything happening in other parts of the world like deforestation, the use of unsustainable resources, the huge amounts of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere, the list goes on! BUT, we can take action locally which is exactly what we have done. Planting trees makes the world a better place – fact.